Use as many pages and boxes as needed. Paragraphing Length Consistency Summary: The purpose of this handout is to give some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs. Paragraph Balance. Unbalanced Paragraphs. Graphics to Help with Balance and Organization.
But most importantly, it provides readers with a map to the overall paper. A good introduction captures readers' attention, tells them what the paper is about, and provides an outline of what is to come. The introduction is quite possibly the most important part of an essay, but it can also be the hardest for some writers.
Don't fret though; we're here to provide you with some tips and guidelines for writing introductions and staying on the top of the pile. If you really want to draw readers in, you have to start your introduction with something attention grabbing. This can be a startling fact, an interesting anecdote, or a relevant quote from an expert. Refer to our article about front matter for more ideas for what to include at the beginning of your work.
You can even present the point you are going to argue against. You must provide your readers with a little background or basic information about the topic you are covering. Start with the broader subject and lead your readers to your specific topic.
Term Paper Guidelines. Length. You must show that you have done some serious research, but there is no length requirement. A paper of about The following article defines the normal size of a college-level term project. Don't hesitate to use this helpful information provided by our experts.
This is especially important when writing a book report. Show them how your topic relates to the bigger picture. After providing your readers with some background, use your essay introduction to outline what you are going to discuss. Lay out your main points and arguments, preferably in the order in which you are going to discuss them. The most important thing to include when writing an introduction is your thesis! A thesis statement is the main point of your paper; it is narrow, focused, and specific. A thesis can be something you are arguing for or it can be something you are arguing against.
Whatever the case, be sure to include it. The thesis can come before your outline or at the very end of your essay introduction. There is no rule for exactly how long an introduction should be.
You must consider the length of your overall paper when writing your introduction. An appropriate length for a five-page essay is about half a page, but if you are writing a page paper, your introduction will span several pages and multiple paragraphs. Check out our example introduction to an essay to get a better understanding of how to best lay out your first paragraph. One final tip: write the introduction when it's easiest for you. Some writers find introductions extremely hard to write.
It may be easier for them to write the introduction last and maybe even write the conclusion and back matter first.
Why references are necessary References show that you have carefully reviewed the relevant literature and are now contributing something novel to the academic community. Surely someone else has thought about related topics or used similar techniques. Were you just as sloppy with conducting your study? The answers to these questions need to be evident. Additionally, readers might be concerned that you may have plagiarized by failing to properly cite information. If you have too many references, readers may wonder if you did any original research at all.
For example, literature and systematic reviews are surveys of existing studies.
Similarly, newer fields will have fewer published papers that can be referenced. If you find yourself in this situation, review the references used by relevant current literature and see if you can expand your research, and thus your reference list, with valuable content from there.
While rare, they may have specific limits. More commonly, journals restrict the number of references due to printing constraints. In such a situation, you may wish to look for an institution that may be able to provide you access to that literature for the purposes of reviewing the content. Given that more papers are being published than ever before in most fields, it is likely that reference lists will grow longer simply because there are more data points and discussions available to cite. Keep track of changes to the size of reference lists in publications related to your field.
Let journals be your guides One way to gauge how many references you should have is to survey academic journals for your article type in your field. Review their author guidelines for limits on the number of references for your article type, and make sure your reference list complies with those journal restrictions. Read recent articles relevant to your topic; check how many references other authors have included in their papers for the same article type as yours, and how frequently those works were cited per page.
The latter is impossible to state simply because certain sections may have no citations at all the results section, for example. Statistics regarding the number of references and citations To give you a general idea, the following are some estimates from a couple of studies that examined the citation characteristics of articles published in various disciplines.
On the other hand, health professions and earth and planetary sciences had the fewest references per article at an average of 8 and 17 references, respectively. Math and engineering averaged at roughly 29 references per article. Biochemistry, genetics and molecular and other biological sciences averaged at Hard and natural sciences more frequently cited recent literature while social sciences and math were likely to include older sources. Make sure to balance your discussion with external literature citations. Be careful about citing old references. The rule of thumb is to go back at most five to six years.
Be careful not to cite several references in one place without discussing the relevance of each work to your research.
Confirm the quality of the work you cite. Are there any ethical issues regarding the paper that would disqualify it as a good source? Do your references come from reputable sources such as respected journals rather than random blogs and website links?